May 26, 2015

5th Annual Triangle Rising Star Winners Announced

May 26, 2015 (Durham, N.C.) – Along with Theatre in the Park, Playmakers Repertory Company, ABC 11 and Durham Arts Council, DPAC hosted this year’s Triangle Rising Stars Awards onstage on Tuesday evening, May 19.  The Triangle Rising Stars Awards (TRS) is a program that brings together area high school musical theater students to perform together and compete against one another for educational scholarships. Last year’s winners, Matthew Washington and English Bernhardt, presented the awards for Best Actress and Best Actor, while awards were also given for Best Ensemble and Best Musical.


  • Best Actress: Faith Jones (C.E. Jordan High School, The Wiz
  • Best Actor: Alex Fernandez (Enloe High School, Miss Saigon)
  • Best Ensemble: Annie Get Your Gun – Durham School of the Arts
  • Best Musical: Les Miserables – Apex High School

“When they called my name I couldn’t believe it,” gushes Best Actor winner, Alex Fernandez. “I am eternally grateful for this chance, and I will always be grateful to my teachers, family and friends for opportunities like this one.” Best Actress winner Faith Jones went on to add, “I am super proud to represent Durham and Jordan High School in a great way, and I can’t wait for te Jimmy Awards! This has all been an amazing opportunity.”

Honorable mentions were also given to schools that had standout productions in areas of scenic design, orchestra, costume design and choreography:



Scenic design:
Cardinal Gibbons High School: Catch Me If You Can

 C.E. Jordan High School: The Wiz

Costume design:
 Voyager Academy: Into the Woods

 Sanderson High School: Bye Bye Birdie

Lighting Design:
 Enloe High School: Miss Saigon

Directed by David Henderson, over 500 patrons witnessed the 20 finalists open with “Magic to Do” (Pippin). Diane Petteway, Music Director and Arranger, led a full band to accompany the student performances. In a Broadway medley, each student had their own chance to shine in solo performances from their individual high school musicals. After awards were presented, the entire cast of finalists closed out the evening with a tear-jerking rendition of “Seasons of Love” (Rent).

The Triangle Rising Stars Awards is a member of The National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA), a national program that unites high school musical theater awards programs from across the country under one roof. The two student winners are provided with $1,000 academic scholarships along with an invitation to represent TRS in an all-expense paid trip to the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City for one week, June 23 – June 30, 2015. The students will train with real Broadway actors, directors and producers. Their week of coaching, auditions and rehearsals will conclude with each student’s life-long dream at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. At which, a panel of judges will choose two students for the coveted Jimmy™ Awards for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress.


The Best Actor and Best Actress were awarded on Tuesday night after the audition process began this past fall. Representatives from DPAC, Theatre in the Park, Playmakers Repertory Company, Durham Arts Council and ABC 11 attended high school musicals from area counties, including: Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake Counties. Over 60 applicants auditioned for the program, which was narrowed down to 20 finalists, including 10 women and 10 men.

For photos of this year’s production, visit:
For more information about the Triangle Rising Stars Program, visit:
For more information about the National High School Musical Theatre Awards/ Jimmy™ Awards, visit: